Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between CST and IST


Studying and mastering all of the world’s time zones is a very daunting experience. The reason for such is because the time zones should be understood along with the knowledge of GMT/UTC offsets and DST among other concepts. Moreover, many time zones use similar acronyms. For example, the “CST” time zone can mean “China Standard Time, Chung Yuan Standard Time” (used by Taiwan) and more commonly as “Central Standard Time.” Similarly, the “IST” acronym can also mean either “Israel Standard Time” or “Indian Standard Time.”

With regard to China, it naturally observes five distinct standard zones of time (most likely because of its huge land area) with Beijing using their very own Beijing Time, which is known internationally as China Standard time. But for the purpose of this discussion, and so as not to confuse you further, we are going to look at the differences between the most common usages of “CST” (CST as Central Standard Time) and “IST” (IST as Indian Standard Time).

Basically, CST is minus six hours with respect to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). GMT and UTC can be interchanged if you will not take into consideration the sub-second level of exact time precision. IST, on the other hand, is plus 5 hours and 30 minutes GMT. If you’re going to compare the two, this would mean that IST is 11 hours and 30 minutes ahead of CST. In practical applications, if it is 12:00 p.m. or noontime CST (regardless of date) in America, then it is just near midnight in India (still the same day) when basing time using IST.

Although the more general time zone in America is known as Central Time (CT) – 90 degree west of Greenwich, the majority of Canadian and American time zones observe the more specific and official CST (Central Standard Time).

IST is the time zone observed in India and also in Sri Lanka. It was developed and then implemented in 1955. Prior to its official use, India witnessed the presence of two Indian time zones, namely,A Calcutta and Bombay Time. The basis for the IST calculation is somewhere near Allahabad which is exactly 82.5 degrees east longitude.


1.CST is more commonly recognized as Central Standard Time while IST is Indian Standard Time.
2.CST is primarily followed in the U.S. while IST is mainly followed in India.
3.CST is minus 6 hours GMT (-6) while IST is plus 5 hours and 30 minutes GMT (+5.30).
4.IST is ahead of CST by 11 hours and 30 minutes which is their time difference.

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